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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 16, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EST

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"countdown" with lawrence o'donnell. >> this is not real reform. it is not health care reform. there are no choices. the decision has been made without thinking about it because people are exhausted and they want to pass a bill soprattly, it has been made to commit the united states to health care reform through the private sector. if it were me i would kill the bill and have the house start reconciliation which is what they should have done in the first place. >> i would ask dr. dean, how better do you address those who don't have insurance, passing a bill that covers 30 million who don't currently have it or killing a bill? i don't think any rational person says killing a bill makes sense. democratic senator jay rockefeller expressed his anger over governor dean's remarks. >> it's nonsense. and it is irresponsible and coming from him as a physician
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it's stunning and he's wrong. >> democratic senator amy klobuchar from minnesota joins us live from capitol hill. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, tamron. >> many are pitting this house democrats and those in the senate. john conyers is quoted as saying no public option, no extended medicare to 55, no nothing. he says the insurance lobby is taking over. that is a democrat saying that. >> you know, people are angry when they don't get everything they want in a bill and there are reasons to be angry, but please look at this bill. what i say to the people of my state, when i get a woman writing me, i would love to hear what howard dean would say to this, a woman writing me telling me how her daughter has been kicked off health care, she has cystic fibrosis, barely hanging in there because her husband's business can't afford it
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anymore. she needs you to be her voice because with this preexisting condition she is not going to be able to get insurance on the open market. this bill bans that activity. it bans insurance companies from saying you kid gets sick so you don't get coverage. you can keep your kids on your policy until they are 26. it fills the doughnut hole for our seniors, saves $1 billion on the deficit and covers 31 million people. the issue to me today and i disagreed a little with david's lead in there are a lot of people emboldened today. what happened today was an outrage. bernie sanders had an amendment. it most likely wouldn't have passed. it was his right to bring it to the floor. they were pulling shenanigans. they were requiring the 767 page amendment be read.
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jim demint said in the e-mail if reid won't slow down this debate we will do it for him. that is what is going on. they're free to vote against this bill but they have to allow it to come to a vote. >> senator klobuchar, bernie sanders, howard dean and the rest don't like the idea that the insurance companies might have perhaps more power. in the fine print in the bill the insurance companies would get to charge older people three times as much as younger people. insurance companies in many cases get to write the rules. why should democrats stomach that? >> first of all, if you look at the entire bill, david, and what it does, it bends the cost curve for the people of this country. we know insurance costs are going up and up, the average is $12,000, ten years ago it was $6,000, ten years from now $24,000 to $36,000 the average middle class family will be
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paying. this bill is a beginning. there will be negotiations with our friends in the house. i know they have disagreements. i like provisions in their bill that are note in ours. we will ultimately work this out with the president's leadership. just to throw this in, by the way, i wouldn't bulk this in with bernie sanders and howard dean. i believe he will support this bill as well sherrod brown and others who want the public option. are they happy it got taken out? no. do they understand the greater good is to help the people like the woman i talked about in minnesota? they get that. >> senator, most people would say the things you have listed and the white house touted that could be in store are things many people never envisioned, but when you look at all of the compromise, democrats out there, people who voted to put democrats in power who say my goodness. you are giving up everything.
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compromise means taking it off the table. the public option or the opt in and all of these options out here, here is an idea, no, take it off the table rather than where is the true compromise? >> first of all, remember, this is the beginning. this bill is not an end, it is a beginning. joe biden said yesterday i have been in the senate -- i was in the senate 30 years and every major piece of legislation from medicare to civil rights it was reformed as time went on as changes were made and society adapted. that is what is going to happen. to just not even begin is wrong. that is what we are trying to do. >> senator, one more question, lost in some of the shuffle of the news with the medicare buy-in pulled out. there was this agreement as part of the exchange americans would have the same opportunity to buy into the same plan that members of congress have. what's the latest on that? is that still part of this?
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>> thank you so much for bringing that up because for me i have been talking about that. people in america should be able to buy into the federal employee health care plan. that is my thought of how you can get fairness. they can get the kind of deals that members of congress and 8 million federal employees get. that is what the work that is still being developed is general consensus on that and we are waiting for the cbo score to come out. all the work on delivery reform, something i care about, making sure we are rewarding high quality, low cost care. we must do it or medicare will go under by 2017. >> all right, senator amy klobuchar, thank you for your time. >> thanks for having me on. >> any time. >> good. i'll come on again. we are following breaking news out of brazil. a new jersey father who fought
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for five years to get custody of his son, well he has reason to celebrate. david goldman is on his way to brazil tonight in hopes of bringing his 9-year-old sean back to the united states. sean is living in brazil with his stepfather. his mother brought him there in 2004. she died a year later. today brazil's appeal court said sean should be turned over to the u.s. embassy within 48 hours. it may not be that easy. jeff rossen joins us. >> hi, there. for every big victory there could be some problems along the way. in this case this is about as good as it gets for david goldman short of having his son in his hands. that federal order that he go to brazil and pick up his son within 48 hours. that would put this handover
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with father and son on sunday. the brazilian family with sean, sean's stepfather has filed and appeal and a motion with the court and that means they are trying to block this and get an emergency hearing. we're told the judges will listen to that tomorrow. as of right now it is not a done deal yet. i have covered this story before. i have spoken to david goldman and i said to him when is it final? he said it is not final until i have my son in my arms and wheels up from brazil. that is possibly days away. this is the closest he has come in the past five years to getting his son back. >> jeff rossen, thanks so much. coming up, the bipartisan plan to go around the obama administration in an effort to break up some of wall street's most powerful financial
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institutions. would it stop the banks from being too fwoig fail? the latest on the violent protests at the climate change summit two days before president obama is due to arrive. will the talks fall apart before he lands. blago is back debating the merits of elvis presley. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them.
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and we're back with new bailout outrage that comes amidst reports that citigroup will get $38 billion in tax breaks. >> david, it turns out the irs quietly agreed to the tax breaks
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part of the deal for citigroup to repay $28 billion it received in bailout money. there was a white house briefing by robert gibbs. here is how it finally concluded. >> the president comfortable with this tax break or whatever you want to call it? >> the irs made that decision and it allows citigroup to pay back the united states the money it was owed. >> meantime republican senator john mccain and democratic senator maria cantwell teamed up in a new effort to reign in big financial firms. the senators propose legislation that would reinstate predepression law. >> under our proposal too big to fail banks would be forced to return to conventional banking leaving tasks of risk taking to others. result will be smaller, more
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aggressive companies that are not so big that their failure would bring the entire economy down and take on the risk of investment banking. the glass-steagall act passed in 1933 and repealed a decade ago. we know the proposed legislation would reinstate the firewall between commercial and investment banking. giant financial firms would have to choose between being one or the other. ron insana joins us. let's talk about the reaction from robert gibbs about the irs saying it was their decision to give this tax break. wow. we are near tax season now. a few months shy of that. a lot of people would like the irs to make that decision about them. >> everybody would, tamron. i wish we could go back to march for a moment and feel what we felt then when all these financial firms seven of which we lost since the fall of 2008 were on the brink of failure.
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so in an instant the government enacted a variety of different policies to prevent us from going over the cliff and into another great depression. giving a tax break to a large financial institution under those circumstances is quite reasonable. people keep looking at this if the government hadn't done anything we would be in soup lines right now trying to get food. it was a big deal to save the banks at the time. people have forgotten how bad it was. these things had to be done to save the banks. what we do is an entirely discrete set of issues to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> the argument we heard today is the banks were gambling with taxpayers' money. the argument from wall street is look at all the great things we done, all the financial products we have created. in an interview with "the wall street journal" former fed
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chairman paul volcker found very little evidence that vast amounts of innovation in financial markets in recent years have had a visible effect on the productivity of the economy. if volcker is right, why shouldn't we pull apart these banks? >> to a certain extent they are discrete issues. one is do they enhance productivity. two is rather complex arcane should co-mingle with depositor funds. investment banks are paid to take risks, to underwrite stocks and bonds and trade on a proprietary basis their own capital. commercial banking is insured by the federal government. i think they should be separate institutions. you wouldn't need a systemic
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risk regulator. if you get rid of the danger of taking down a financial institution because the guys on the risk taking side are getting too cute, you reduce the threat of a systemic crisis like we had over the last two years. >> the next question, can you do that without reinstating glass-steagall? >> it would be very difficult. breaking them apart is reinstating glass steegle. the appeal was graham-leech-blyly. there is a utility value to commercial banking which we understand is important to the life blod of this economy and the risk taking side of investment banking which allows institutions to trade their own capital which is fine. they can make as much money as they want but under this set of circumstances can't lose as much money as they want because they'll affect customer deposits
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and force the government to bail them out. >> bankers will fight this. we know the lobbying power they have. we see it every time we do a story these days. might we never see a change here? >> we might never. but, you know, it is interesting because as part of the bailout firms like goldman sachs became commercial bank holding companies even though they don't do business with the retail public. they don't take commercial deposits. they should be separated as an investment bank. so should morgan stanley. they should be discrete businesses that have their own set of operating principles. the law worked for over 70 years and i think that it would be wise to reenact that. david, a mascot learning the hard way that an exercise ball does not make a good trampoline. plus a couple making
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now also available, vicks nyquil less drowsy, because everyone sleeps differently. ♪ tamron there are a lot of things that could be considered news in this world -- >> but dafd there are only a few stories that make us say no way! so david, it was not love at first sight for berlin's polar bear. but knute met the female polar bear. she whacked him in the face. now they seem to be getting along so well that fans are demanding they stay together. like al green, "let's stay together." we love major mascot mishaps. as you can see, the mascot tries to use that green rubber ball to
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dunk. we are getting a precise locater. the fans thought it was funny he hurt himself. >> i guess you would. >> ouch. >> it is some team that has a cougar or a lion as a mascot. >> yeah. >> well a british woman is in trouble for being a little too loud in the bedroom. caroline cartwright has pleaded guilty to ignoring a noise abatement civil order that three different times she got this. the bbc said the order banned them from shouting, screaming and vocalization at such levels to be a statutory nuisance. >> statutory nuisance because they are too loud in the bedroom. >> i call it gross. lovely couple. >> speaking of offense, there are a lot of bad ways we could go with this one. let's move on. the spirit of the season. first lady michelle obama helping out needy children with
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toys for togethers. >> but first, what was iran really trying to prove with its latest missile test? we go live to the pentagon next here on msnbc. ( sneeze ) transform drinks you want, into cold medicine you need. introducing fast crystal packs. a new way from alka-seltzer plus to... get cold and flu relief in a taste-free, fizz-free powder. alka-seltzer plus. even after waiting a month for my appointment, and spending two hours in the chair. there's nothing like feeling the open air freedom of my jeep wrangler. to make vanity...
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i'm mary thompson with your cnbc market wrap. the dow lost 10 points, the s&p gaining one and the nasdaq picking up five points. the federal reserve reaffirming its pledge to hold interest rates exceptionally low to fuel the economic recovery. oil prices rose sharply after supplies dropped much more than expected settling just below $73 a barrel. a sign the u.s. economy is recovering, the trade deficit widened. the commerce department saying it rose to $108 billion in the third quarter, an increase of
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10.3%. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to msnbc. welcome back to "the big picture." i'm tamron hall live in new york. >> i'm david schuster live in washington. iran is testing missiles again and testing the patience of the obama administration. iran launched its most advanced missile to date, a solid fuel high-speed rocket capable of reaching israel and southeastern europe. they claim it is impossible to shoot down. iran's decision to test its most advanced missile to date will increase the world's resolve to hold them accountable for their defines. white house press secretary robert gibbs was asked if this could lead to stronger sanctions against iran. >> missile tests do nothing but undermine iranian claims. they're not productive.
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the iranians still have the opportunity to live up to their responsibilities. if they don't then time will run out and we will move to the next step. >> msnbc's jim miklaszewski is live at the pentagon. >> reporter: u.s. officials are telling us there appears to be no additional capabilities in this missile that the iranians haven't exhibited before, in fact. they have tested a missile like this with solid fuel, capable of reaching israel, u.s. targets abroad, i mean, in the middle east and even some targets in parts of europe. so quite frankly, officials are sort of putting aside this missile test. nobody is that spun up about it. they are putting it aside as more antagonistic rhetoric and claims as press secretary gibbs
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said a moment ago from iran. >> and jim, as far as the overall u.s. posture of the obama administration towards iran, give us the big picture in terms of where things stand. >> reporter: it is clear. secretary of state hillary clinton has admitted that attempts to extend the olive branch, to open up a negotiation process with iran has been an abysmal failure. not only did we see this missile test today and wild claims out of iran, last week they were claiming they were on course to construct about ten more of these nuclear enrichment facilities, enriched uranium which could be used for nuclear weapons. so it's all viewed as a strident posture by iran heading into next month in which the u.s. and its allies in the u.n. are
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expected to try to enforce -- try to gain and enact stricter sanctions against iran. there's even been some talk, this would be pretty strident, in imposing some kind of embargo against iran in terms of refined petroleum products. as we know, iran has a very limited refining capacity and that could send iran's economy into a tail spin. >> jim, back to the rocket itself. we are seeing some of the latest pictures. not sure if this is a rocket launch. iran's claim this missile is impossible to shoot down. what is the view of that as the pentagon? >> these are wild claims according to the officials we talked to. at this point there is almost no missile that could be fired that would be impossible to shoot down. the likelihood might not be that great but it certainly would not be impossible given the kind of anti-missile defenses that the
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u.s. has actually poised to put in that area. we are not talking about ground stations necessarily, but they do have advanced countermissile technology on many of the u.s. navy ships that could easily be deployed in that area. >> nbc's jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. police clashed with protesters who stormed barricades. the officers used batons and pepper spray to beat back protestors. it was the largest demonstration outside of the conference that started ten days ago. inside the conference there is no climate change agreement. talks are said to be deadlocked. they are hoping to sign an historic agreement to figstop
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global warming. 5% of americans favor signing a treaty to reduce greenhouse emissions. ann thompson is in copenhagen. she joins us by phone. let's start with the violence and protests and move to where the negotiations are. what is the latest in dealing with the protestors and eescalation? >> it was a wild scene this morning. 2,500 protesters were there to demand there be some kind of action on climate change and at one point they tried to storm the bella center to bring their message directly to the delegates and the danish police would have absolutely none of that. the police wearing riot gear fought back. they used pepper spray. they pushed protesters off of bikes and used those bikes to get in the way and help divide the protesters. they were very, very physical.
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they dragged several people out of the crowd, some they put in vans, others they just dragged to the side. but for 40 minutes it was a very violent and very scary atmosphere in front of the bella center. eventually it calmed down. and within the next hour or two the standoff between the protesters and the police petered out as protesters just went away. they went away knowing they had made an impact because the turmoil that happened outside happened inside the hall today. there were some protesters that managed to disrupt meetings. beyond that there were surprises from the delegates. the conference leader resigned. connie hettegard and turned it over to the danish prime minister. she came under fire from developing countries for, they thought, being too chummy with developed countries.
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as for an agreement, it is -- there is still no agreement and it is 48 hours until friday. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton comes tomorrow. she is going to have some meetings with china, brazil and other key countries as she tries to hammer out a path between the u.s. and developing countries and particularly major developing economies such as china, india and brazil. also there is no agreement on long-term financing, no agreement on emissions cut, but today there is a ray of hope regarding deforestation. the united states pledged $1 billion for developing countries to stop the destruction of tropical rain forest. that contributes to 17% of the greenhouse gases in the world. that money is an olive branch
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and could help push these negotiations forward. as i talked to one long time observer he told me, it is always like this in the final days. they never go smoothly. it never seems like it's going to work out but what's going to make this one work out is that over 110 heads of state are coming, are either here or will be here by friday and these heads of state, particularly president obama, are not coming here to announce a failure. they're coming here to announce a success. what that success will be, we just don't know at this point. >> ann, as far as the tensions between the obama administration and the chinese government. this may sound crude but are the basic sticking points is the united states wants the chinese to be more transparent. in other words we don't want them to say we have done the measurements themselves and the chinese want the obama administration to kick in far more money than the obama
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administration is prepared to do. >> david, you are right on the transparency issue. the obama administration is insistent that there be an independent body that is able to verify not just what the emissions china says it is reducing but the emissions of all countries are reducing. the chinese are balking at that. they are saying they should not be subject to the same standards as developed countries. now, the chinese have taken exception with the united states' position that any money that goes to developing countries should not go to china. and that is a sticking point, but i think the bigger sticking point actually is this whole issue of verification or transparency. >> all right. nbc's ann thompson live for us in copenhagen. another incredible 48 hours ahead of us. the push to go green is
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having some unintended consequences in some communities here at home. cities around the united states that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a hazardous down side. the bulbs don't burn hot enough to meltd snow and can become custed over in a winter storm. that happened in oswego, illinois, blamed for a crash that killed a woman. up next, our faceoff. republicans throwing down new roadblocks in the debate and seeming to enjoy the fight within the democratic party. >> i have seen more plans around here in the last week than a bowl of popcorn. >> plus al franken's rising providence as truth teller on the floor of the united states senate. this is "the big picture" on msnbc. to kids and healing...
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♪ ♪
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♪ [ male announcer ] every penny counts. so does every moment. make the most of both this holiday season with free shipping from l.l.bean. in today's "faceoff" as senate democrats try to push forward on health care reform senator republicans complicated things launching an offensive to delay the debate. >> republican tom coburn sent the senate into limbo when he required an amendment be read aloud. they read the amendment until bernie sanders withdrew the
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amendment that would have created a single payer system. >> people can have disagreements but at this point in crisis it is wrong to bring the united states government to a halt. >> here to faceoff chris kofinas, john edwards campaign and republican strategic alex johnson. i'll start with you, alex. you heard senator sanders say it is wrong what the republicans are doing here. how do you defend this action? >> i don't think it is wrong for republicans to hold up or stop a bill they think is fundamentally wrong for the american people. they're going to do every tactic, use every arrow in their quill or whatever to try to defeat what they think is a bad bill. now, the reality is that democrats have 60 senators. they have 60. they have a majority in the u.s. house. the problem is if democrats want
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to pass a bill is in their own caucus. you have seen the infighting for the last few weeks. it is almost comical between lieberman and blanch. >> get in here, chris. that is what the republicans have been saying, john boehner seemingly enjoying this infighting. alex is right. we are watching the infighting just within the senate or the house versus the senate with these democrats. >> well, i mean, i think there is a big difference between what you may call infighting. i would describe it as passionate disagreement between democrats versus what the republicans have clearly done. not only since the democrats have been in power in the white house but when bush was in the white house basically nothing on health care there is a profound philosophical difference. one party is trying to make health care better, trying to deal with the crisis. the other wants to put their head in the sand and pretend there is no crisis. that is what it is. that is the republican party of today. >> i think chris, alex, you guys
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and tamron, i think we can all agree it is important that there be some honesty and certain level of fact-based arguments on the floor of the u.s. senate. i want to talk about this incident that happened on monday. john thune from south dakota held up a chart that pointed out some of the taxes in this health care bill would start within a couple of weeks but the benefits wouldn't start for 1,800 days. here is the reaction from senator franken, democrat of minnesota. >> people are not entitled to their own facts. benefits kick in right away. and if you are going to hold up a chart that says when taxes kick in and when benefits kick in, you say 1,800 days, you better include the benefits that do kick in right away. >> he's right, isn't he? >> so -- and president obama said just the other day the
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country is going to go bankrupt if we don't pass this bill. is that right as well? you don't think there is hyperbole on both sides of the argument. >> we are not doing apples and oranges. >> look at this bill, alex, you know better than this, you know there are benefits that kick in right away. there is an argument about president obama and what is going to happen years down the road about bankruptcy but you know there are benefits in this bill that kick in right away. why can't you say senator thune is wrong when he says otherwise? >> i don't know. this whole process has been done behind closed doors and in secret. >> there is nothing secret about this bill. chris, you jump in? >> i'm not surprised by -- this is the republican strategy and tactic. at the end of the day it is simple. the democrats and president obama are tackling a difficult problem. there is no question. people have concerns or
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questions. if you look at the positives of this bill in terms of what it will accomplish it has significant benefit for tens of millions of americans who are uninsured and those who have insurance but can't afford to use it. down the road it is a simple way to see this, if this bends a cost curve the american people are going to reward the democrats and the white house. we are confident and courageous enough to tackle a problem the republicans have ignored. >> confident, courageous or stupid. come on. this is not the appropriate way to go about this. >> it is really stupid to address health care when tens of millions of americans don't have health care. >> i gave you a moment, please give me a moment. here is what we are going do at the end of the day. we will create a system that will lessen the financial anxiety for some. it will increase financial insecurity for others, those who
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are fined for not having it, those who have to pay higher taxes and fund this through the growing deficit and debt this country is taking on by the expansion of government. >> except the problem -- >> that is why the american people are rejecting the bill. >> the problem you have is the facts. the white house analysis and independent analysis it will end costs. >> the white house will say say this will increase cost care in america. premiums will go up. >> alex, what do you think is going to happen if we do nothing? you think it is not going to go up so the solution is to do nothing on health care? >> no. i think there are solutions to health care. >> what is the solution? tell us as a republican what the solution is. >> absolutely. we can start, we should start by reducing the cost of insurance. by reducing the cost of insurance. >> this is what it does.
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>> you make it more accessible to others. >> here is the problem is we can't wave a magic wand and tell the insurance companies to reduce the cost. we have to leave this debate. we are running out of time. we will have you back to talk about ways to get the insurance companies to lower costs. i'm sorry we have to leave it there. thanks for coming on. some things we thought you should know, the first lady plays santa and rob blagojevich debates elvis presley. on "hardball," chris matthews talks to hoard dean whose call to kill the health care bill has ignited a firestorm in the democratic party. senator rockefeller says dean is irresponsible and wrong. "hardball" starts in eight minutes. it's time for holiday bargain hunting.
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about all the discounts boswe're offering. i've got. i some catchphrases that'llideas make these savings even more memorable. gecko: all right... gecko: good driver discounts. now that's the stuff...? boss: how 'bout this? gecko: ...they're the bee's knees? boss: or this? gecko: sir, how 'bout just "fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance." boss: ha, yeah, good luck with that catching on! anncr: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. announcer: you could buy 300 bottles of water. or just one brita filter. ( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment and your wallet.
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new york senator chuck schumer is apologizing for a nasty remark he made about a flight attendant who told him to turn off his cell phone. the senator apparently used the "b" word. schumer's spokesman says the senator regrets his remark. some of the stories we thought you should know. >> two top lawmakers are asking president obama to posthumously pardon boxing great jack johnson. this has been going on for a while. an african-american was put in prison because of his romantic ties with a white woman. a letter was sent to the president saying they are disappointed with the response by the justice department who says it does not process pardons
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for dead people. first lady michelle obama played santa claus delivering two bulging sacks of toys. mrs. obama delivered them to the marine base at quantity co, virginia. she kicked off a toy collection at the white house. tamron, your favorite story, rod blagojevich is spending this afternoon in a hearing in his federal corruption case but tonight he is scheduled to attend a debate on the 1964 film "viva las vegas" starring elvis presley. he often makes references to the king and sang "treat me nice." let's go to the videotape. ♪ those are just a few things we thought you should know. tamron, i think you could do a
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better elvis impersonation. >> what a compliment. president obama is taking on another foreign trip. this time we are talking about it, to denmark for the climate change summit. this could be the worst time to leave washington. our stories we'll be watching heading into tomorrow. mark murray, nbc's deputy political director. what do you have? >> tomorrow president obama takes off to denmark for the climate change conference in copenhagen. everyone is going be watching to see if the president can extract a result from his brief visit there. we will be talking about our brand new nbc news wall street ju journal poll that comes out tomorrow. and finally tomorrow the senate banking committee is going to have a confirmation vote on fed chairman ben bernanke and
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whether bernanke gets another term as fed chairman. it will be interesting to see if anyone in the senate banking committee votes against just won "time's" man of the year award. >> we don't have a lot of time left but we saw a report out of copenhagen from ann thompson, talking about the violence level, the protesters attempting to breach the conference. what are the expectations from the white house? hillary clinton is on her way there as ann noted. >> the expectations are high. there was a reason why the president delayed going until this late juncture, the time in which he would be able to extract something particularly from the chinese. it was considered about a week and a half ago when the copenhagen summit just began, obama might be making a quick stop by early on giving his speech in oslo for the nobel peace prize. it got pushed back.
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i think people are expecting results. >> mark, on health care. democrats appear to have 59 votes. they are still trying to convince democratic centrist ben nelson to give up on his abortion issues. where does that stand? >> david, it is all eyes on ben nelson and all eyes on the house. a lot of progressives are not happy with the concessions made. illinois senator roland burris is not that happy about any type of public option being dropped. when you are trying to herd 60 cats you have to keep an eye on every one and worry about what is going on in the house. it is not easy. our new nbc/"wall street journal" poll has tough numbers on the president, the white house and the democrats and that will make their job tougher. >> nbc news deputy political director, i think that is the right title, mark murray. sorry. i spaced out here.
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log to firstread.msnbc.com. >> that does it for "the big picture" today. a lot of news coming in. i'm tamron hall. >> i'm david schuster. "hardball with chris matthews" starts right now. >> love it or lieberman. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, battle to the death. howard dean says the democrats should kill the bill. he called the latest version of the health care bill an insurance company bailout. he wants the senate to kill it in order to save true health care reform as he sees it. republicans agreed with dean. they'll do anything they can do stop the bill including forcing the reading, catch this, in full of a 767-page democratic amendment that has no chance of passing. they will do anything to kill
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time. dr. dean is sitting with me. he will join us at the top of the the show. the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is out tonight. the wheels have come off on health care reform. our poll has lots of red flags for president obama and the democrats. and some good news for one group in particular. that one group, anyway, president obama has been catching heat from african-americans who say he hasn't done enough to help those hit by the recession. one of his most vocal critics joins us here. what is the most important political move of the year? the infamous gate crashers are not the only couple to make it into a white house party they weren't invited to. first the health care bill with dr. howard dean, the former chairman of the democratic national committee and the former governor of liberal vermont. here you are, sir, joining the right wing --

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